Russia might provoke new conflicts in Europe and beyond, including in the Arctic, Middle East, North and Central Africa, and the Mediterranean, says Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ruslan Khomchak.
A systemic and consolidated approach to neutralizing challenges and threats posed by Russia is needed in the context of the situation in Ukraine, Khomchak, told NATO defense chiefs at the Military Committee meeting on Tuesday, according to the General Staff's press service.
Ukraine has been at the forefront of Moscow's imperial ambitions for the past eight years, Khomchak recalled.
"In fact, every day brings us signs of a new "cold" war. At the same time, we are talking about potential conflicts that may arise not only in Europe but also in the Arctic, the Middle East, North and Central Africa, the Mediterranean, etc. – wherever Russia demonstrates aggressive ambitions and military power, provokes instability and creates areas of tension," Khomchak said.
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- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow was trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
- On April 8, 2021, Khomchak assured the situation was under control, and the Ukrainian military was ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.
- On April 22, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country would begin the withdrawal of troops, which had taken part in military exercises in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent bases in the Southern and Western Military Districts.
- Ukraine is seeing no major pullback of Russian troops from the areas bordering the country, said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
- "What we are seeing today is the withdrawal of troops without withdrawal of troops. So we must remain vigilant in this regard," the top diplomat said.